Battle Born Batteries has released two new battery formats that we are pretty interested in. The 8D and GC3 lithium battery. After first installing Battle Born GC2 batteries in our truck camper we have become fans of these batteries, but do these new formats make sense?
What Are Lithium Batteries?
Lithium batteries are a special new battery technology that has been replacing lead-acid batteries in RV campers, boats, off-grid, and many other applications. They are lighter, more energy dense, faster charging, and safer among many other benefits.
For RVs, lithium batteries have been replacing the camper house batteries that historically powered 12V DC electronics. However, with their increased power capabilities, RVers frequently pair them with an inverter to power 120 AC electronics when connect connected to a power pedestal.
In fact, these batteries are so good for this that off-grid dry camping popularly has skyrocketed. Boondocking off-grid is no longer “roughing it,” as you can easily replicate a plugged-in experience with a generator or RV solar panel system to replenish your batteries.
Who Is Battle Born Batteries?
Battle Born Batteries is a lithium battery company with headquarters in Reno, Nevada. They specialize in lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries as replacements for deep-cycle lead-acid batteries.
The Battle Born 8D Lithium-Ion Battery
The first battery Battle Born is releasing is an 8D form factor. The battery is called the BB8D and weighs 75 pounds. Dimensions are 21.29 inches L x 11.59 inches W x 10.01 inches H. The battery is 12V, 270 Ah, and capable of 300 amps continuous with a 500 amp surge for 30 seconds.
The 8D battery form factor has long been a standard for larger battery power applications in marine, bus, and RV use. As a drop-in replacement, this battery will provide more capacity in a smaller space than the previous Battle Born models. It will also make installation even easier for large battery banks.
At this time, a heated model is not available in the 8D lithium battery form factor. I expect this to be added in the future, however.
This battery makes use of the same LiFEP04 chemistry from their previous models but includes a more powerful BMS. Because of this, the battery should be an excellent option for boats and RVs that could best use the form factor.
It does not look like this battery would do well sitting on its side or end, however, as it has a lip all the way around, so sitting upright like a lead-acid is probably how the 8D battery will be installed.
The Battle Born GC3 Battery
The next battery, Battle Born, released is the BBGC3. This battery is unlike any other battery on the market today in its form factor. This battery looks strange at first, but it is designed to be mounted in any direction or another battery. One of the most significant benefits of lithium-ion batteries for installation is that they can sit in any orientation. This battery takes full advantage of that.
This battery has been on the market for a while but was only available to OEM manufacturers. It has been used in numerous OEM builds, including the Keystone Super Solar Flex.
Having installed many battery systems, a battery like this would have made many of them much easier. I can see this battery becoming a popular choice for those building an RV or installing batteries in new locations.
The GC3 has the same specs as the 8D at 12V, 270 Ah, with the same 300 amps continuous and 500 amp surge for 30 seconds. Most likely, they are using the same or similar BMS in both batteries.
The battery dimensions are 22.83 inches L x 7.09 inches W x 13.15 inches H and weighs 75 pounds. A heated version of the battery, the GC3H, is also available.
Pro Tip: Having a heated battery helps in cold weather. Find out how lithium batteries perform in cold temperatures.
Another neat feature of the GC3 battery is the terminal connections. They are at either end of the batteries and make setups in parallel or series much easier. The batteries can even be connected via busbars as the terminals line up with each other.
Both new batteries are made at their facility in Reno Nevada.
Do These New Lithium-Ion Batteries Make Sense?
Solar and off-grid power systems are becoming more and more popular as the technology matures, but many times, it can still take 6-12 100Ah batteries to build some of the larger systems. An 8D lithium Battery or the GC3 can cut the number of batteries by 1/3 or even offer plenty of power with just one battery in smaller installations.
Because these batteries provide 300 amps continuous, they can run a 3000VA inverter where previously three 100Ah batteries would have been required.
The BB8D price is starting at $2,800, and the BBGC3 will start at $2,900. These prices are similar in cost per energy as the smaller 100Ah options but provide higher available currents in a single battery. They can be purchased directly from Battle Born on their site
One drawback I see to the larger battery form factors is redundancy. If one battery fails in a 3-battery bank, two other batteries will still work. Luckily, Battle Born Batteries has had a great reliability record and backs the batteries with a 10-year warranty.
Overall with fewer batteries, fewer connections, and more mounting options, installations should be much easier. It’s great to see some larger LiFeP04 battery options from Battle Born, and I am excited to see what people do with them.
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